When I first started working in the fitness equipment industry the idea of customers buying online seemed absurd. But about 9 years ago the company I worked for built a web site and started advertising on Yahoo. Back then Google was still a concept, and pay per click advertising hadn’t been conceived. Surprisingly a few people here and there would make purchases, primarily for treadmills. All sales were conducted through the phone.
Gradually sales increased, so about 6 years ago I suggested we include a shopping cart on our site. The reaction was, “who would buy fitness equipment online without talking to someone first.” Well, how times have changed. When I left the company over 60% of our sales were through the cart. Our minimum price item was $1,000, with our premium products exceeding $3,000.
Purchasing fitness equipment online has become a major industry. There are several benefits from buying online:
- There is no sales tax.
- The item is delivered to your home.
- The Internet is ideal for comparison shopping.
- Nothing competes with the convenience of shopping from your home.
- Not always, but in some instances you will save money.
Elliptical Machines Grow in Popularity
The fastest growing fitness equipment currently is elliptical trainers. They offer the benefit of providing a low-impact, upper and lower body workout. They have become particularly attractive to the aging baby boomers. And like treadmills, many people are purchasing them online. If you are considering buying an elliptical trainer online there are several considerations:
Buy a Quality Crosstrainer
Do not waste your money on a cheap machine, unless you plan to use it to hang clothes. How do you determine what qualifies as cheap and what merits quality? You need to do your due diligence. Check out third party reviews, customer testimonials (epinions.com is a good source), and compare features and specifications.
Buy an Elliptical Trainer that has an Adequate Warranty
When you see an elliptical trainer with a 90 parts and labor warranty, you should be concerned about the durability of that machine. It doesn’t say much about the faith of the manufacturer in their products. When buying an elliptical trainer look for models that come with a one year labor warranty, and a 1-3 year parts coverage.
Buy an Elliptical Trainer from a Company with a Good Reputation
When you purchase an elliptical trainer you are not only buying the machine, but also the company that stands behind it. Although elliptical trainers require less service than a treadmill, you may still have maintenance issues and questions. You want to make sure you purchase from a company that is responsive to their customers. Once again customer reviews can be helpful. Whenever I want to get some insight into a company I will do a search on the company name and “complaints”. You could be surprised on the results. I was going to spend considerable money with a furniture store chain and when I did a search I was overwhelmed with the number of customer complaints. Guess what? They didn’t get my business.
There are a number of advantages to buying an elliptical trainer online, but as with any purchase let the buyer beware. Become an informed consumer and make a smart buy.